I have often been asked by students and aspiring professionals to share what I think are the skills required to succeed in the field of corporate communications. Just like any other field, here too there is no magic key which will open the golden gates for aspirants. However, I am happy to share whatever my wonderful profession has taught me. I will start with the skill I think is one of the most important – perhaps, the most important – to excel: Passion.
Why I think “Passion” ranks slightly higher than other skills is that the field of communications is a lot of art and only a little bit of science. Hence, any aspirant wishing to make a career in the field of communications will have to do a lot of learning herself.
If you study medicine or engineering, there are precise textbooks, which, if followed scrupulously, ensure that you know the basic working. A textbook of anatomy, for instance, can tell you how the human heart operates. No matter the gender, age, ethnicity and so, this fact will always remain true.
A textbook on hydraulics will help you study the various scientific characteristics of water and water flow. No matter what, these characteristics remain largely unchanged.
The reason is simple: anatomy and hydraulics are exact sciences.
Communications is different: it is largely an art. What words work well with individual A cannot work with individual B. In fact, the same words that worked for individual A today, may not work tomorrow for individual B. That means you have to have the passion to constantly learn, try, observe, correct and improve. The principles of communications that you used yesterday may turn completely ineffective tomorrow.
Let me explain with an example: some fifty years back, children were expected to follow whatever the parents and teachers asked them to do. That was the communications policy then. Today, things have changed. Children of all ages are a good deal more assertive and demand proper logical explanation for everything. Teachers and parents have to be more democratic and open in their communications today than they were fifty years back.
Twenty years back, the print media was a dominant force. Today, slowly but steadily, the digital media is overtaking all other forms. The strategies that produced results in the print media aren’t necessarily effective in the digital media.
This is where Passion comes in. The Passion to learn on the go, the Passion to never accept anything as the final answer, the Passion to always question the status quo… all because communications is an ever-evolving art. If you think a certain practice has worked today and intend to keep using it forever, you will be proven wrong very soon.
So friends, that’s what Passion is. Being passionate about your chosen field will ensure there won’t be a dull moment. There will be numerous challenges, but never a dull moment. If you are passionate, I would say you’ve won half the game already.
I will share other skills in my upcoming posts. Meanwhile, let me know what you think.
Image Courtesy: Google